Last week I went to BEA for the first time... and now I'm FINALLY sharing all the good stuff with you!! Last Wednesday I nervously drove off from Pittsburgh to New York City to meet up with Heather from Turning Pages (we were originally supposed to have 2 other roommates, but it ended up just being the 2 of us rooming together). It was an exciting, overwhelming, happy, crazy, fan-girlish, tiring, amazing time. Here's what I/we did:
We ended up going to the Teen Author Carnival and sitting in on a panel talking about Contemporary YA books that have to do with time periods. The speakers were Gayle Forman, Una LaMarche, Jennifer E. Smith, Lauren Morrill, Adi Alsaid, and Tiffany Schmidt. It was really cool to hear them talk about their writing processes and other random things. This was my first time seeing Gayle Forman... but it definitely won't be my last. That woman is SO funny and cool. I will go see her anytime the chance arises!! Then after a Cyndi Lauper "Time After Time" sing-a-long, there was this really cool author signing. While there I got to meet Sarah Mlynowski!!! I seriously LOVE LOVE LOVE her books and was so nervous to meet her. I also got a pic with her... but I look way too happy in it, so I'm probably not going to share it (ok I did share it, don't judge me). We also got a tote with some books in it and I bought Just One Day... because, well obviously I'm insane for having not read it yet.
BEA Day 1:
The first day of BEA!! We checked in and the doors opened at 9 am. It was pretty frenzied at first, but I found it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. There were lines for book drops and author signings... but nothing outrageous. I think the most I waited all day was 30 mins. The only disappointment I had this day was that they ran out of Rainbow Rowell tickets with 5 people in front of me. I was kinda bummed, but I still got Landline the next day, just didn't get to meet the awesomeness of Rainbow. I didn't bring a tote bag with me because I was planning on buying a BEA one... but that turned out not to be an issue at all because they handed out tons of free totes inside!! It was a pleasant surprise for sure!! I got to meet A.S. King and Gretchen McNeil. That was exciting!
Highlight of the Day: I met my childhood author-hero R.L. Stine!!!! It was seriously a moment I will never ever forget! (I was also super excited to snag I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson).
BEA Day 2:
On the second day of BEA, I went in a little later (around 10). I met a ton of cool authors on this day, and honestly I wish I would have taken more pics. I don't really know why I didn't... I was just overwhelmed with everything going on I guess. I was really excited to meet Amanda Maciel because her debut novel Tease has been one of my favorites this year. She's SUPER nice. I also really loved meeting Morgan Matson. I haven't read any of her books yet, but she was super sweet!
Highlight of the Day: There's 2. First meeting Megan McCafferty was SO cool!! Second, I waited in line to meet Miranda Kenneally with author J.K. Rock (she wrote the Camp Boyfriend books). She ran out of books earlier when I got in her line... and there she was right in line with me to meet a different author!! It was so cool!! I talked to her about books and writing, what she was working on, and life in general. It was a highlight of my entire NYC trip.
Later that Night...
Heather and I headed over to the rainy Book Blogger Picnic in Central Park hosted by Alexa from Alexa Loves Books, Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookcase, Jen from YA Romantics, and Katelyn from Kate's Tales of Books and Bands. Even though the rain put a damper on it (LOL), we still got to meet tons of bloggers and even went out and got drinks with a bunch of them. Thanks so much to the girls who put it together!! And thanks for the cake, it was super yum!!
*Book Blogger Picnic Photo via The Overstuffed Bookcase*
The Final Day:
We decided to skip BookCon and honestly I'm glad we did. There were only a few authors left that I really wanted to meet, but since it's opened to the general public, I didn't think the lines would be worth the wait. I heard it was a pretty large crowd, so I think we made the right choice. Instead we went to The Strand!!! If you don't know what that is, it's this really cool Indie book store on 12th and Broadway. It was a book-lovers heaven. Four floors of floor-to-ceiling books, rare books, artsy stuff, just everything awesome. I bought a tee-shirt because seriously after BEA there was NO WAY I could fit even one more book in my bags to drag back home. The prices at Strand were surprisingly cheap! I saw brand new hardcovers for $13.99!! I thought it was going to be overpriced and it definitely surprised me. I will definitely be going back there. We also went to this AWESOME chocolate bar across the street for lunch, and I will also be revisiting that place too! Awesome milkshakes!
I had a great time at BEA!! I loved meeting and hanging out with Heather. She's a sweet girl. I was grateful to have someone else who loves books to talk to and explore New York with!! I loved meeting bloggers I've been following on the internet for years. I loved meeting cool authors. The only thing I would have done differently is to take more pictures!
Shoutouts to some cool bloggers I met (sorry if I miss anyone, I have a shit memory sometimes and it doesn't mean I didn't love meeting you!). It was so nice meeting all of you!!
Andi @ Andi's ABC's
Brianna @ Paperback Princess
Tonya @ Lilybloombooks
Mandy from Forever Young Adult (I'm in the FYA Pittsburgh Book Club, so it was super exciting to meet someone from the FYA website!!)
Giselle @ Xpresso Reads
Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally
Danielle @ With a Book
Jessica @ Lovin' Los Libros
Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner
Miranda @ Tempest Books
Betty @ Book Rock Betty
Wendy @ Book-Scents
Danielle @ Love at First Page
And I know there's important people I'm forgetting!! Very sorry!! (Like I know there was another Pittsburgh blogger that I met and can't for the life of me remember her name!)
My Final Book Haul:
So that was my BEA experience. I may make another post talking lessons learned about BEA, or just going into more depth about certain things... but this is the overall gist. It was a great time. Hopefully I'll go back!